Manufacturing logistics and procurement – March 2021

30 March 2021

Digital transformations in logistics with COVID-19 as accelerator
According to a new study (5.91 MB) by SYSPRO, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the need for digital transformation among manufacturers. The study gives an overview on how manufacturers and distributors handled the shift caused by the pandemic. The actors have seen overtime, an increased need for collaboration, supply chain disruptions and emerging trends to keep up with.
McKinsey has published an article how Industry 4.0 technologies played a decisive role in the pandemic response in many companies and how to move forward to the new normal. The article includes an example of a CPG company that was able to use digital twin technology to run multiple scenarios during the pandemic, preparing itself for sudden shutdowns of manufacturing locations or disruptions in raw-material supply.

Blockchain increases transparency in supply chains
Blockchain has the potential to offer many opportunities for increasing transparency, traceability, efficiency, and the position of farmers and horticulturists in the agrifood chains. However, the technology also has its limitations and drawbacks. This was revealed by a study (in Dutch, 6.9 MB) on the applicability of blockchain in agrifood commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and conducted by WUR.

Investing in Industry 4.0
A recent survey (748 KB) by Callaghan Innovation has shown that the number of New Zealand companies investing in Industry 4.0 technology is low within the food and beverage industry. While highlighting the lack of uptake being taken by industry, it also shows that most companies need help finding solutions. This is no different in the competitive food and beverage sector, where smart solutions are readily available to solve new and age-old problems.
Maakindustrie (in Dutch) has published an article with five trends in the field of industrial robots for 2021.

Supply chain networks
Deloitte has released its new report (1.29 MB), “Holistic Decision-Making: Creating tomorrow’s more intelligent movement of goods network.” The report provides insights into how supply chain companies are undertaking a journey to digitalise the physical world and power more intelligent movement of goods networks through cognitive technologies.
Researchers from Penn State have developed a model to help visualise the interconnectedness of businesses and industries over geographic space, which potentially can show supply-chain vulnerabilities to future shocks, such as pandemics or climate-change impacts.

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